Over the past 20+ years, Captain Gail Harris has built a unique professional career that includes breaking ground for women and African Americans in the military, providing combat-proven leadership and intelligence analysis during major international conflicts, and developing policies and strategies for mitigating cyber warfare. She is also recognized as an engaging educator, expert speaker and trusted role model for women and men in the military and civilian sectors.
Since 2006, Captain Harris has served as a consultant, advisor and writer for various organizations nationwide. Two years ago, she was sought out by the Naval War College to draw on her extensive knowledge of intelligence and national security to assist in strategic planning for the 21st century. She also attended the Analytic Transformation Conference (sponsored by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance), where she recommended program improvements to government intelligence leaders. In addition, in 2007, she participated in an educational exchange program in Egypt.
Prior to stepping into this independent consulting role, she succeeded as Intelligence Specialist for Lockheed Martin, where she compiled, interpreted and presented complex intelligence and aided in strategic decision making and was a key member of teams proposing follow on solutions for the Navy's manned airborne intelligence aircraft. Applying many years of experience with the U.S. Navy, she made a valuable impact in corporate maritime operations.
Early in her career, Captain Harris was recognized and hand selected to serve as he first woman in Naval History to serve as Intelligence Officer in a Navy aviation squadron. When she retired in 2001, she was renowned as the highest-ranking African American female in the United States Navy.
Before reaching this point, however, she was selected as Department of Defense Lead, she drove innovation, developed policy and proposed new strategy for addressing the emerging issue of computer network defense. Her advice was adopted across 30+ government agencies and military commands. Before this position, she thrived as Director of the Joint Intelligence Center (news center), U.S. Strategic Command, managing multimillion-dollar budgets and over 500 men and women in the production of intelligence information, communication materials and broadcasts (radio and TV) for military and government audiences.
In a lengthy and rewarding history that spans many years, she exceeded expectations in every position, resulting in awards and unique honors, such as serving as the first female attaché in a Middle Eastern country, and earning a commendation by the Joint Staff for her "masterful" efforts in intelligence in support of 300+ Allied Force targets in Kosovo. In this capacity, she provided intelligence support in an innovative manner, using technology to deliver real-time combat intelligence from other places in the world. She was also personally requested to develop and lead intelligence support for the 1988 Olympics, oversee intelligence functions for overseas deployments, and lead intelligence matters for highly visible war games. Captain Harris was also hand-selected to develop the Navy's first training courses on intelligence analysis.
Trained at the University of Denver and Drew University, she earned her Master of Arts in International Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She studied in the United Kingdom, Brussels and Belgium, and was educated by members of Parliament in London, and a Nobel Prize Winner in Economics in the U.S.
In addition to many publications and public appearances, Captain Harris is in the process of putting final touches on her upcoming her memoir, A Woman's War, which will be published by Scarecrow Press.